The Problem of Positivity

The problem of positivity is that it isn’t always obtainable. Sometimes it is just out of reach; other times it feels a million miles away.

This is real life. … No, it’s not all positive … We are real human people with real human lives. We feel things. We have shitty times.

So writes the magnificent Hannah Rainey,* in a recent post. And she is absolutely on point.

I think there exists a pressure to be positive, and it is a pressure I am definitely susceptible to. Last October, I wrote about how I felt fraudulent:

I am continuing to tweet #InspirationalLyrics, but I absolutely do not believe in them myself. Not one bit.

Whilst I’m not feeling particularly unpositive right now, Hannah’s post has made me think about the issue of positivity.

I want to use my blog to spread positivity; to connect with, and (hopefully) offer consolation, solace and empathy to, others who have undergone similar experiences, so as to encourage positive thoughts in others.

The problem is, of course, that one doesn’t always feel positive. And whilst I don’t like to forever exude negativity, sometimes it is all I can manage – and I don’t want to shy away from it. (Truthfully, I would be disappointed in myself, and couldn’t be satisfied with whatever I wrote, if I avoided or actively denied how I was feeling.) This inability to conquer negative feelings, clashing as it does with a desire to act the opposite, can lead to a sense of guilt.

This is why posts such as Hannah’s are so crucial. It doesn’t hurt to be reminded that, as the inspirational Kay Ska emphasises:

It’s okay to not be okay

Matt Haig, for instance, in his remarkable book, Reasons to Stay Alive, lists a number of famous names – past and present – who struggle/d with depression.

Again: It’s okay to not be okay.


Positivity is problematic. We shouldn’t judge or bemoan those who cannot be positive 100% of the time. Life is not always easy or happy. It is, however, ours for the taking – and, as Matt Haig writes, it is always worth it.


* Who I had the immeasurable pleasure of meeting for the first time yesterday – LOOK!

4 thoughts on “The Problem of Positivity

    1. I strive to be positive and, after the year I had in 2016, am adamant that 2017 will be “my year”; but I also know how stressful it can be trying to be positive when other feelings outweigh it.

      Thankfully, there are a number roof inspiring bloggers out there emphasising that we don’t always need to be positive. I find it very helpful and reassuring to be reminded from time to time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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